Microregions and Why You Should Care

I know I go on about Megaregions, if only because it's an awesome name to use in a serious economic conversation.  However, though I do take the concept dead seriously, I've come to the conclusion that if you're in or heading into a Megaregion, there's something else to consider.

What I call "Microregions."

I became aware of Microregions recently when someone commented to be about the recruiting advantages of a given city in the Bay Area Peninsula.  As the Peninsula consists of some 12 million people at this time, a large amount of them unrepentant geeks or protogeeks, I really hadn't thought about the recruiting differences of one different city.  The Bay Area is the Bay area, right?  Silicon Valley is all the same?

Not quite.

That comment got me thinking and observing, talking to people and delving into my past experiences in relocating or helping people relocate.  Soon I began to appreciate that, though to many of us a Megaregion may seem "just one thing", there's often "Microregions" within them that are extremely distinct culturally, economically, and business-wise.

In other words, I began to realize that my fascination with Megaregions was missing just how diverse they were internally.  I was aware of it intellectually, but not viscerally.

I would meet people who would limit their interests and careers to what seemed to be an incredibly small part of their Megaregion just because of certain preferences.  I had found out about fannish groups and even conventions known only in specific areas of their Megaregion.  Then of course there are preferences for a given culture, or weather, etc.

I've come to the conclusion that, though we progeeks need to focus on Megaregions – since that's where our careers and our kind are – we need to be aware of the "Microregions" within them.  It will affect where we want to live (or don't want to live).  It will affect our socialization.  It will reflect how we recruit for our companies or where we work.

It may even mean finding a relocation is within a Megaregion, not to another one.

I'm surprised more and more just how many Megaregions are even more diverse than I thought.  Ironically due to the fact these are engines of opportunity, I expect that to increase instead of decrease.

Steven Savage